Olivia Calabrese once valued family above everything else but now her father wants her dead. She's starting to make a name for herself but each success is met with violent opposition. There's a traitor amongst her allies, her boyfriend is still transforming into a berserker each night, and her most trusted friend may be falling in love with her. Olivia is determined to find a cure for the berserker curse but the berserkers are getting stronger and keep increasing in number.
The Toil And Trouble Trilogy: Book Two is an urban fantasy story. The narrative voice seems more mature than in the previous book, it has a definite new-adult feel. The beginning of the book felt a bit rushed and I didn't like the overdramatic arguments. After a few chapters the pacing leveled out and the drama became much more meaningful and intense.
I really enjoyed reading this story. It built upon the previous book while also amplifying the tension and suspense. I liked how the conflict allowed further characterization. The magic system was fleshed out more and I loved all the additional details included because it gave a sense of history to the world and characters.
Relationships and sexuality are prominent themes throughout the story. I liked how it was interwoven into the story's lore while also offering a unique perspective on common issues. At times it was unsettling but I loved how raw and insightful it was.
There's also a lot more action and violence in this story compared to the first book. The berserkers are more numerous and their violent ferocity is fully unleashed. The fight scenes were fun to read and I liked how it forced Olivia to adapt and acquire new skills.
Olivia's new position as leader of her makeshift family also presents new issues. Not only is there a business to run but she has to inspire loyalty and obedience. It resulted in some dark scenes and troubling choices with stark consequences.
The second book of the The Toil And Trouble Trilogy was an engaging read and I loved it's intensity.